“If anyone wants to watch an NBA game, don’t come to Linnie’s Pub,” Jay Linneman, owner of Cincinnati’s Linne’s Pub, wrote on Facebook, according to MSN. “We will not air them until Lebron James has been expelled from the NBA.” Linneman also reportedly said that he thinks NBA players “just need to play the game and that’s it” and that “their opinion doesn’t really matter.”
Upon hearing this news, James responded in a tweet, “Aww Damn! I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink! Welp.”
On Wednesday, James took to Twitter to express his anger over the death of Bryant. He posted a photo of Nicholas Reardon, the officer who killed the 16-year-old in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday. “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” James wrote, alongside an hourglass emoji. The former Cleveland Cavaliers player is a native of Akron, Ohio, which is around 125 miles from Columbus.
James later deleted the tweet and offered an explanation. “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate. This isn’t about one officer it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”
In a prior tweet, James wrote, “ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!”
Bryant was killed on the same day that a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on three counts of murder for the shooting of George Floyd. When Donald Trump caught wind of James’ comments, he released a statement, labeling James “racist.”